BOOK PRESERVATION INITIATIVE
The Egremont Historical Commission’s current preservation initiative began with their focus on the preservation of several significant volumes in their collection. This was a turning point for the Commission members, who recognized that they could not in good conscience begin to raise funds for the conservation treatment of their rarest books, without first addressing the physical conditions at the Archives Room to which the books would return after treatment.
One of the books is a collection of charmingly illustrated drawings by school children in 1876. The book had suffered water damage in the past and will require conservation treatment to avoid further deterioration.The water damage resulted in mold growth and damage, which should be remediated. It is recommended that the pages then be washed and mended.
Another important volume must be conserved as well - and this one is the treasure of the collection. Having survived a fire in the 1800’s that destroyed most of the town’s early records, The Proprietor’s Book is the oldest and most precious in the town’s possession and is also in need of conservation treatment. (Not shown) Having been treated in the 19th century, the pages of the Proprietor’s Book were lined with silk, a standard technique of the time. Now, the silk has deteriorated and conservators have recommended treatment that would include removing the silk and washing and mending the pages.